VW Sets Price Range for Porsche IPO, Valuing Car Maker at Up to $78 Billion
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Porsche AG shares are set to begin trading Sept. 29 in one of the largest European public listings in years, raising up to $9.4 billion and valuing the sports car maker at as much as $78 billion. Porsche’s parent, German car giant Volkswagen AG , priced the public offering of preferred stock in line with average analyst expectations. Combined with a private sale of Porsche ordinary stock to VW’s largest investor, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the sale of 25% of Porsche could raise €19.5 billion for VW, the equivalent of $19.5 billion. VW said it plans to distribute nearly half the gross proceeds from the combined Porsche share sale to its shareholders in a special dividend. The listing could test investor appetite for further offerings in a market that has been weighed down by soaring inflation, the war in Ukraine and fears of a global recession.
The Switzerland stock market ended marginally up, recovering in the final hour of the session after languishing in the red right from the start as investors stayed cautious, looking ahead to the central bank's policy meeting on Thursday. Several central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, are scheduled to announce their interest rate decisions this week. The Swiss National Bank hiked its policy rate by 50 basis points to -0.25% in its June 2022 meeting, surprising markets that expected the interest rate to be held constant. The bank also signaled further rate increases in coming meetings. The rate hike in June was the first since 2007. The bank kept its policy rate at -0.75% since 2015. The benchmark SMI, which dropped to a low of 10,520.90 around noon, rallied to 10,645.39 in the final hour before settling at 10,617.01, gaining 6.36 points or 0.06%. Sonova climbed about 2.7%. Sika gained 1.83% and Richemont surged 1.4%. Nestle and Zurich Insurance Group ended higher by 0.95% and 0.84%, respectively. Lonza Group drifted down 2.4%. Roche Holding shed about 1.35% despite the European Commission approving its Vabysmo to treat vision loss. Swiss Re shed 1.1%, while Swisscom and Swiss Life Holding also ended weak.
After a weak start and a subsequent long spell in negative territory, European markets staged a recovery past mid afternoon on Monday but still ended the session mostly lower. The mood remained cautious with investors looking ahead to the policy meetings of several central banks, including the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, Swiss National Bank, the People's Bank of China and the Bank of Japan due this week. The Fed is widely expected to announce another 75-basis point hike in interest rates to rein in inflation. The Bank of England meets on Thursday, with markets split on whether the central bank will raise rates by 50 or 75 basis points ahead of a mini budget to be unveiled by the new Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday. Other central banks are also likely to significantly raise their benchmark rates. The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.09%. Germany's DAX gained 0.33% and Switzerland's SMI edged up 0.06%. France's CAC 40 ended lower by 0.26%. The U.K. market remained closed for a holiday.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Ireland and Poland closed higher. Infineon Technologies, Merck, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom and Siemens also ended notably higher. Sartorius, Fresenius, Vonovia, Zalando, Fresenius Medical Care and HelloFresh shed 1 to 2.3%. In Paris, Atos climbed more than 6%. Airbus Group, STMicroElectronics, Dassault Systemes, Air France-KLM, WorldLine, Thales and Pernod Ricard gained 1 to 2.5%. On the economic front, Eurozone construction output expanded for the first time in five months in July, preliminary data from Eurostat showed.
Major U.S. stock indexes inched up Monday and bond yields hit their highest level in more than a decade as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's interest-rate decision later this week. The S&P 500 rose 26.56 points, or 0.7%, to 3899.89. The broad market index opened with losses but rallied in the last hour of trading, putting it firmly into positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 197.26 points, or 0.6%, to 31019.68. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite climbed 86.62 points, or 0.8%, to 11535.02. Last week, both the S&P and Nasdaq notched their biggest weekly declines since June amid a slew of corporate warnings that raised alarm bells about the trajectory of the U.S. economy. Companies such as FedEx and General Electric were among those that pointed to signs of economic troubles. The messages sparked worries among investors about how well corporate earnings can hold up as the Fed keeps raising rates and the U.S. potentially heads for a recession. Nine of the S&P 500's 11 sectors ended the day with gains. Healthcare was one of the sectors that posted losses, weighed down by losses among vaccine makers. Moderna tumbled $9.84, or 7.1%, to $127.90, making it the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500, after President Biden said in a televised interview that the Covid-19 pandemic was over. Novavax fell $1.98, or 6.5%, to $28.43, while Pfizer shed 59 cents, or 1.3%, to $45.44. Later this week, investors will parse results from companies including Costco Wholesale and home builder Lennar. They also will get full results from FedEx on Thursday after its sales warning last week.
The East Asian stock markets and the Australian stock exchange followed Wall Street's lead on Tuesday, rallying from recent losses. In Tokyo, where trading was suspended the previous day due to the holiday, it went up by 0.5 per cent to 27,694 points. Here, the fact that a typhoon caused devastation is a slight brake.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 3.489%, its highest 3 p.m. ET settlement level since 2011, and up from 3.447% on Friday. The two-year yield, which is much more sensitive to near-term interest rate expectations, climbed to 3.946%, its highest settle since 2007, up from 3.859% on Friday. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.
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